There have been many changes to the Rift as the new season arrived with the new year. In the LCK, it seems the meta is very bot-centric. However, there are some players that seemed to still be living in 2021. Nongshim RedForce top laner Kim “Canna” Chang-dong has still been picking Graves. Canna picked Graves in four out of five games he played. The only other champion he’s played up to now was Jayce.
After their win over Liiv SANDBOX, Canna joined Inven for a chat.
How do you feel about getting the first win of the season today?
It was regretful when we lost to Hanwha Life Esports in our first game, but I’m happy that we won 2-0 today. We regained confidence through the sweep.
You mentioned your loss against HLE. What went wrong?
After we won game 1, the team atmosphere got messy, so we made a lot of mistakes in games 2 and 3.
Your opponent today was Dove, who used to be a mid laner. Was he different from other top laners?
When he first transitioned to top lane, it seemed that he lacked fundamentals, but when I faced him today, he seemed to have adapted well to the top lane.
In game 1, you gave up three dragons and fell behind, but managed to turn the game around.
Our plan was to stop them from the third dragon. Fortunately for us, the third dragon was Cloud. If it was any other dragon, we probably would have felt much more pressure.
How would you evaluate your performance in the LCK up to now?
In 2020 when I debuted, I felt that I was doing well myself. However, it’s different being good then and being good now. Back then, it was important to be a stable laner. Now, it’s more important to be aggressive and to hit the opponent more. As I gained more experience, I have more confidence, and I think I know what to do now. I’m not as nervous as I used to be in official games, so I believe I could do better in the future.
Your build and spells on Graves seem unique. Last game, you took Ghost and built Randuin’s Omen.
I changed my spells often because the opponent was Tryndamere. If Tryndamere endures and scales, there’s a moment when it can beat Graves. To get through that moment, players choose from Exhaust, Ghost, and Flash depending on what they prefer. The reason I built Randuin’s Omen was also to deal with Tryndamere’s strong critical damage.
The meta in the LCK is bot and jungle-centric. What’s the top laner’s role in the current meta?
The top lane isn’t that different from last year. Although diverse champions appear, the role is the same: win in lane, scale well, and push the side lanes. In game 1 of our match against HLE, I was saying, “I’m alright, I won’t die.” This kind of shotcall is what top laners should make. I was very sure that I wouldn’t die in that game.
In solo queue, champions like Poppy and Tahm Kench became top-tier, but in official games, it’s still Graves. What’s the difference?
There are people that are good Poppy players in solo queue, but most pro gamers know how to counter Poppy well. There are many counters such as Gangplank, Gnar, Kennen, Vladimir, etc. You just need to trade well.
You and Zeus both lost on Jayce, while both of you are known to be good Jayce players. What went wrong?
In that game, I made some mistakes. Zeus lost too, so Jayce is 0-2 in the LCK up to now, but I think Jayce is a good champion that can appear all the time.
T1 filled in your spot with Zeus. How do you think it’ll be to face him?
We played a lot of house scrims last year, so I know what it feels like. According to my experience, I don’t think it’ll be too difficult, but since some time has passed, I’m not sure how he changed.